Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

LIZ OLNEY MAKES HISTORY

30-May-2023

In a club as old and distinguished as the Fitzroy Football Club we value our history and revere our trailblazers: the likes of Aussie Rules’ first Indigenous footballer Joe Johnson, the famous Haydn Bunton who at 20 became the club’s youngest captain in 1932, and the amazing Elaine Findlay who was the first woman to be nominated a director and then vice chair of a VFL/AFL club.

Now in this our 140th year, a current-day player earns the right to be highlighted and acknowledged for her individual contribution and in the process, writes her name in Fitzroy’s distinguished history as a true trailblazer.

That player is Elizabeth Olney. Because when she runs out onto the Brunswick Street Oval on Saturday 3 June 2023, Liz will become the first woman to play 100 games for the Fitzroy Football Club.

Even before becoming a foundation player for the Fitzroy ACU women’s side back in 2015, Liz chartered a pioneering course in women’s footy. A modest, quiet soul, Liz is a roaring lion of the game. Strong and steady and a great reader of the ball, Liz plays as a traditional full forward using intelligent body movement, strong marking and sure-fire kicking, aspects of her game she’s honed since starting out as an East Malvern Auskicker and junior footballer in the Under 9s to Under 12s. Playing alongside current AFLW player Alicia Eva, she and Liz were the only girls, and two of the best footballers, in those teams.

Like her Fitzroy ACU foundation team mates, Liz was not allowed to play team footy after her Under 12 year. But while studying teaching at the Australian Catholic University, Liz was able to take the game up again, playing with long-term Fitzroy team mates Lauren Atkinson, Indi Benjamin, Hillary Collett, Sarah Lynas, Alexa Madden, Gemma Minuz, Luci Murphy and Tess Young.

Liz’s career over nine long years as a senior Fitzroy player comes on the back of a dedication to fitness and regular and consistent efforts on the training track, meaning she’s missed very few games through injury.

As Fitzroy’s main target up front, Liz has kicked 79 career goals for the Roys, with her best haul being seven in one game, and with bags of multiples not unusual, week in week out.

It's safe to say that nothing has been more seismic, more influential or more beneficial for the Fitzroy Football Club than the introduction of the club’s women’s sides in 2015 and 2016.

And no argument either that when Elizabeth Olney runs out onto the Brunswick Street Oval as the first woman to play 100 games for Fitzroy, she’ll be taking her rightful place alongside other Fitzroy greats who have blazed a trail in the history of the Fitzroy Football Club and Australian Rules football.

Image:
Liz Olney (left, top row) in her first team photo 

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